It’s new to you!

Summertime in my youth was always a double-edged sword.
On the one hand, it meant no school, and long days of swimming, exploring the wash, daring each other to race our bikes without hands down The Big Hill, and endless sleepovers.
On the other hand, it meant that there wouldn’t be anything new or interesting on TV for at least four months.
Isn’t it strange, that as children we could watch the same episodes of Scooby Doo and Gilligan’s Island over and over again, and never get tired of them, but when summer showed up, and CHiPs went into re-runs, it was a major thing?
Maybe it’s just me.
So I hated re-runs. I always felt like the people making the shows were loafing, and I wanted my TV, dammit.
Then eMpTyVee came along, and gave me the attention span of a ferret, and I didn’t care any more.
Oh, this is totally unrelated to anything, but I have really nasty poison oak on my right arm, and the back of my left hand. I must have gotten it when I took Ryan geocaching last weekend. Yesterday, I scratched my arm so badly I made it bleed. I looked like I was from one of those scary movies about a guy who has poison oak and he scratches his arm so badly it bleeds. Scary!
Where was I? Ah. Reruns.
So I hated them. But, since I work primarily as a writer now, I understand that there are days, weeks, or even months, when you are just completely out of ideas.
This week has been like that. All of my creative energy is going to Arena, the ACME show, and getting ready for the sketch comedy show on the cruise.
But you know the cool thing about re-runs? If you didn’t watch every episode, the re-run would be what the geniuses at NBC called “New To You!” Meaning, of course, that they wouldn’t have to do any new work, and they could entertain a whole new group of people for free.
So guess what I’m doing today? Re-running an old weblog entry from August 27, 2001.
It’s a story that I really like to tell, and that I’d like to share with anyone who’s just showing up for the first time around here.
It’s the story of how my wife found our dog, and it’s called “Save Ferris.”

Save Ferris

I’m listening to Cake right now. Have you noticed that Cake is one of those bands that evokes a visceral reaction in people? I mean, they either really, really love it, or they really, really hate it. I dunno, maybe it’s just me.
Here’s the story of Ferris:
My wife is the coolest, ever. You know that stupid corny hallmark-card thing about someone making you want to be a better person? Well, sorry, I like to be anti and all Emo and shit, but it’s true. I love my wife more than anything, and she really does make me want to be a better person. I could gush about her for pages here, but I’m not gonna. I am going to exercise restraint.
Oh, fuck that. I knew from the moment that I saw Anne that I would marry her. Isn’t that weird? Has that ever happened to someone who wasn’t in some godawful Nora Ephron movie? And the way we met…it was all timing. My best girlfriend, Stephanie, worked with Anne for YEARS, but she never introduced us…I mean, she even babysat Anne’s kids, at MY PARENT’S HOUSE when we were younger, and she never introduced me to Anne…because, when we look back at stuff, the timing was just all wrong. We weren’t ready to meet each other. But when we did, it was bootylicious.
Anne is beautiful. I mean, she is fucking hella rad.
I always joke that when we are out, people look at us and complain that there’s another hot babe with a geek. I say that I am Bob Goldthwait to her Nikki Cox, David Copperfield to her Claudia Schiffer, Sigfried to her Roy…I truly adore my wife, and that’s all I have to say about that.
One of the things I adore about her is how she has what Soul Coughing called “Boundless Love”. Anne works every day, takes her kids to school, picks them up, deals with their dad, and still has time to make me feel like I’m important in her life.
We have this fake dog poop that someone gave us a long time ago, and we have the game that we play, where we try to put the poop in each other’s stuff. Recently, I stuck it in the toe of her shoe, which was in her suitcase. She found it when she put her shoe on in Vegas. She put it in the exact middle of my bed, under the sheets, and it scared the hell out of me when I jumped into bed around 230 or something last week. My point is, my wife is cool, okay? Yesterday, when I was sobbing like a little bitch in our bedroom, she came in, sat next to me, put her arm around me, and just sat there, loving me. I could feel it. Then she gave me Kleenex, and told me that she’d leave me alone until I felt better.
So you need to know that to understand the story of Ferris.
Anne is a sucker for hard-luck cases, especially animals. One time a few years ago, she almost got hit on the freeway, because she saw a kitten running in the slow lane…so she stopped her car right there and got out to save the kitten, but it got hit by a car just before Anne could get to it, and Anne sat on the freeway, holding the kitten while it died in her hands.
She was fucked up about it for months.
So about 18 months ago, she and I are on our patio, and we hear this meowing coming from our garage. We both thought it was one of my cats, Biko or Sketch, (who are both inside cats, but occasionally get out), so we went to look…and out comes this skinny black cat with no tail. Anne immediately falls in love with him, and she takes him to the vet, to get him healthy again, while I make the “Found Cat” posters. Long story short: We thought he was going to die, the vet said he was just dehydrated, we got him shots, and Anne named him “Felix”. He has lived with us ever since, and he is one ot the coolest cats, ever.
Shortly after Felix came to live with us, a woman Anne works with told us about this guide dog she trained, who was also named Felix. She told us that Felix works for a guy up in Canada (and you can’t spell “runaway production” without Canada!), and Felix had been hit by a car, and they weren’t sure if he would be able to work as a guide dog any more. I guess when a service dog has to be retired, they give the person who trained that animal the right of first refusal as a place to live out their life, but Rita (Anne’s friend) lives in an apartment with her husband and young son. Not the best place for a 90 pound lab. So Rita asked her if Felix could come to live with us, and of course Anne said “yes”. Long story short: Felix was okay, and he’s still working with his guy in Canada. Which is great, because I can only imagine what the bond between service dog and owner must be like. I would just speculate that it’s similar to parent-child, and I always hoped that Felix would be able to stay with his guy. In the process of waiting to see if Felix would come live with us, we got on a list for guide dogs who flunk their final exam, because we have wanted a dog for AGES, and we thought that would be the best way to get one.
We are ADAMANTLY opposed to pet stores selling dogs and cats, by the way /soapbox.
Anyway, cut to Memorial day this year. We have no dog. Anne is taking the kids to Home Depot, so they can buy the materials necessary to make a grind rail (they’re all about the short boards. I’m all about the long boards. It makes for an interesting dynamic when we skate).
Funny aside: Ryan (12) and Nolan (10) were talking about how excited they were to get a grind rail, which they kept calling a “pole”. Nolan says to Ryan, “We TOTALLY have to get some grinding wax, Ryan!” Ryan replies, “Yeah, so we can wax our pole!”
Okay, so they’re leaving the Home Depot, and instead of going to the left, to get back to the freeway like they always do, Anne goes right, and passes this bus stop, where this tiny little dog is chewing on a t-shirt. Anne says that she felt compelled to stop and save her. So she did. As soon as she got out of the car, the dog ran into some Oleander bushes, and Anne spent close to 30 minutes getting her out, and took her to an Emergency vet, for some shots and to get the ticks out of her ears.
So Anne brings home this skinny, 27 pound, depressed little dog, and I must be totally honest, I was pissed. I was so mad that she had made this huge decision to take on the responsibility of a dog without consulting me. I mean, we have enough responsibilities already, you know? We really had it out. There was much gnashing of teeth, and Sir Robin soiled his armor. We finally agreed to keep her for a few days, and see how she was, and if she wasn’t any better, we’d take her to a shelter where they don’t euthanize the animals.
Well, the dog was terrified of me. She had CLEARLY been abused by a man, and she was terrified of men. “Great,” I thought, “I’m going to be responsible for a dog who never lets me pet her. Terriffic.”
And for the first 12 hours–wait, I know I’m not supposed to start a sentence with a conjunction. But I can’t spell for shit, so why are you complaining now? Jeeze. Get off my back, Mrs. Lee [9th grade english teacher who flunked me because she said I couldn’t write. I win.]–for the first 12 hours, she sat by the side door, never moving, never eating, just looking depressed. But somehow, my amazing wife loved this dog enough, and totally turned her around. Within 12 hours she was wagging her entire body, eating, chasing a tennis ball, and generally acting like a dog. And she let me pet her, and started following me everywhere around our house.
So we decided to keep her. But she needed a name…and that was very important. I wanted to give her a name from Mythology…”Athena” or “Psyche” or something. I know, lame. Deal. The kids wanted to name her “Haley”, which didn’t work for me at ALL, because in high school I had the most painful crush on a girl named Haley who treated me like Duckie…so we decided that we’d try on different names for a few days, and the right one would reveal itself to us.
Anne comes home from work the next day, comes in the door, looks at me and says, “Ferris.”
“Sort of. Save Ferris!”
Okay, there is this band from OC that we LOVE called Save Ferris. They play with our friends fairview a lot. They rule.
Anne says, “Get it? Save Ferris. I totally saved Ferris!”
I looked at the dog, looked at her sweet, marble eyes and soft little puppy-fuzzy-head, and it was perfect. Not surprising, considering that it came from my wife.
So her name is “Ferris”.
Isn’t that a cool story?

121 thoughts on “It’s new to you!”

  1. What a great story and it’s definitely new to me. Your wife is such a wonderful, sweet, caring person. You’re both lucky to have found each other. I just hope I find a man who loves and adores me as much as you do your wife.
    Much love.

  2. Wil,
    I wish I was your mother. You wouldn’t be going around Star Trek conventions if I was!!!

  3. what Internal Audience said! Now I gotta go get my dogs from the kennel “spa” where they’ve been while we were on vacation!
    I’ll go back to my corner, now! Karen

  4. Wil:
    I just LOVE your dailies (column)! The Ferris story hit me bad since I have pets myself. A day without Wil is like a day without sunshine!!!

  5. Great story….I have to admit I have gotten 2 cats from Petco from
    They weren’t kittens but they are great. Pickles & Autumn I would not normally buy or even look at any animals at pet stores it kills me to see them in cages and unhappy(ie: pet store at the corner of Kling St. Burbank by Lakeside Apts. I wanted to break in rescue them then light a match on my way out)as they aren’t treated very well. So I am with you on that soapbox. But this place Kitten Rescue seems on the up and up.

  6. I hate re-runs…but yours was awesome! The name is perfect! LOL…your kids wanted to wax their pole…:-). Sorry…had to add that. So you guys really like Save Ferris? You guys are the coolest…ever!
    p.s. I liked the crying like a bitch part!

  7. I have 5 rescue dogs and 2 rescue cats (along with 5 other cats). I can’t imagine a more noble cause. Speaking of rescuing dogs, I discovered something that is happening on the streets of Bucharest, Romania, that made my blood boil. Their mayor, Mr. Basescu, has ordered the killing of all stray dogs (many “owned” dogs are being killed as well just because they’re not with a human at the time of being caught)by any means possible. Many dogs are being beaten, strangled, poisoned, burned, suffocated, etc. etc. on the streets, in front of children, in broad daylight. If you want to find out more and sign a petition and stuff, go to or to get more info. You can also e-mail that bastard Basescu at [email protected] and tell him what a poor excuse for a human being he is. If you go to the White Fang website, you can also get the e-mail addresses of Romania’s President, and Prime Minister so that you can e-mail them and let them know what kind of white trash is running the fair city of Bucharest. Any support would be appreciated by all of the rescue groups in Romania who are racing against the clock to save as many dogs as they can from a disgusting, senseless death. And to think, they are doing this in front of children!!!

  8. Will:
    Regarding the poison oak. BUMMER! Get some jojoba oil and keep it on hand. It works like a miracle. One minute you’re itching & scratching & bleeding, apply the oil and the next minute is just one long “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” of relief.
    – T, nci.

  9. Hey wil, it was cool of you to rerun a story from 8/27, cuz that just happens to be my birthday and i thought that was a cool coinkidink, and somesuch, but anyway, this upcoming 8/27 will be my 15th birthday and my dad is gonna teach me how to drive
    P.S. I just wanted to let you know i didn’t hate wesley, and i’m sorry you lost that job, and that it made you cry. That really sucks, dude

  10. Another great story. Ferris is a cool name. Though the myth name wouldn’t have been so bad. Not lame either. 😉

  11. What do you have against pet shops? Just curious.
    I got my 2 cats at a pet shop bc there really wasn’t any other place on Guam to get them– except the animal shelter (which we couldn’t find). The vet said that the pet shop was a MUCH better place for the animals to go bc most of the ones sent to the animal shelter died. They were horribly mistreated. (the pet shop usually got kittens by way of someone leaving kittens at the door or finding them abaondoned) But the vet was amazed at how healthy our new kitties were after only a week in our house. We LOVE kitties and our new babies were hugged and cuddled and petted all the time. In fact, one of them is sleeping on my mom this very moment and the other is on my lap. :-)
    I’m so glad I got them. They are very special kitties. I love them as if they were my own babies (and they are the closest to grandchildren my parents will ever get from me). So even if you don’t like pet shops, think of the animals already there. They might need homes. :-)
    I totally feel for Ann on the cat thing. My family had a Siamese cat for 15 years. They had her before they even had kids. So I think I was about 10 or 12 when someone’s hunting dog came into our yard. I had seen a boy attacked by a dog and was afraid of them. The dog came at me. The cat stepped between us to protect me. She hissed at the dog. He grabbed her and killed her. It was probably the most traumatic experience of my entire life. I still cry thinking about it.
    As for adopting strays, yeah. I’ve been there. We found an abandoned puppy on the side of the road who was deaf and half blind. We took her in and cared for her, but eventually had to find a new home for her because she kept killing our chickens.
    I had a teacher like your 9th grade one. Total bitch. My acting teacher. I was always shy and when I finally finally got up the nerve, I was ready to do my final exam monologue. And just before I could go out, the teacher stopped me to tell me not to be disappointed because she knew I couldn’t act and that I wasn’t good enough to get in to the advanced class the next year. Gee, BIG fucking boost there eh? They really should smack teachers who ruin the confidence of their students like that. Some people are just so pathetic they have nothing better to do than to ruin things for others. Sad when teachers are in such a position of power.
    Ok, I’ve babbled enough. Just wanted to share my thoughts.

  12. my wife, when she was around 17-18, had a family dog that got hit by a car. They took it to the vet, and there was nothing they could do but put it to sleep. so she held it while the doctor did it, and it died in her a 37 year old man, and i still tear up a bit when i think of that story,,,hell i didnt even know the damn when you say that she was fucked up for months after that, i can believe it,,,it also speaks volumes about the kind of person she are a lucky guy

  13. Hey Su, I liked your post. I think that what Wil is talking about in reference to hating pet shops is the fact that dogs that are sold in pet shops generally come from puppy mills, and there’s a lot of cruelty and suffering that goes on in those places. Not only that, the dogs that are sold as “pure bred” generally aren’t, and they don’t match up to breed standards, so you’re getting ripped. On the other hand, I think that cats sold in pet shops for the most part are just litters of kittens that people couldn’t find homes for, and they’re usually well socialized and healthy. I could be wrong though. All of my research has been about dogs (although I have 7 cats myself :-) ). I did buy a dog from a pet store once, but she was named as a mixed breed and I bought her for $16.00. She was an awesome dog.

  14. To Wil: Wow. There are practically no words. I read the story of Ferris, and the weblog entry you made after you cried your heart out. I just wanna say that I love you and I know there are lots of other people who feel the same way. We don’t love you just because of Gordy (Gordie?), or Wesley, but because of you. You are a real person with real feelings and you’re not too macho to let it be known. Stay awesome and never give up your dreams!

  15. Great story, you whopping pouf… =)
    You sound a lot like a couple of friends of mine
    who just got hitched a few of weeks back. Their
    house is a haven for adopted animals. Only it’s the
    guy that cries a lot. Tried to save a kitten he
    found in a dumpster once, it didn’t make it and
    he was fucked up for months.
    Oh, and Save Ferris…”Let Me In”…Best. Song. Ever.

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